For those with limited indoor storage space, leaving griddles outdoors may seem like an appealing option.
However, you can’t necessarily leave every type of griddle perpetuality outside and expect it to hold up well.
Depending on your climate, griddle construction, and usage factors, outdoor storage may or may not be advisable.
How Climate Impacts Outdoor Griddle Storage
A major factor in deciding whether you can leave a griddle outside is the typical weather and temperatures in your region.
Certain climates are more suitable for outdoor griddle storage than others:
Areas with fairly warm to moderate year-round temperatures, mild winters, and limited precipitation allow for easiest outdoor griddle storage. This includes places like the southern California coast, southeastern Florida, Hawaii, and parts of the southwest.
In regions with frigid winters, heavy snowfall, and regular freeze/thaw cycles, outdoor storage is riskiest. This includes the northern Midwest, New England, inland mountainous areas, and northern states along the Canadian border.
Coastal Hot & Humid Climates
Locations like the Gulf Coast and southeast Atlantic that see very hot and humid summers plus moderate, wet winters make outdoor storage possible but higher maintenance.
Inland Hot & Dry Climates
Where summers are hot but humidity is low, and winters are drier, outdoor griddle storage can work decently. This describes areas like Arizona, inland California, and other desert-like locales.
Consider both your average conditions and weather extremes in your area. Outdoor griddle storage carries the most risk in cold northern regions where rust, freezing rain, and heavy snow take a toll over time. Mild southern climates make it safest for leaving griddles outside year-round.
Griddle Construction Differences
The specific construction and materials of your griddle impact durability for outdoor use:
Griddles made entirely from stainless steel hold up best outside. Stainless resists rust far longer than other metals, though extreme conditions can still deteriorate it over years.
Cold Rolled Steel
Typical carbon steel used on most affordable griddles provides moderate outdoor durability. These corrode and require re-seasoning eventually with extended outdoor storage.
As a very porous metal, cast iron is prone to rusting if left outside continually. Seasoning helps protect it but needs regular reapplication after rain, humidity, and other exposure.
Many griddles have a chrome or nickel coating over steel. This protects somewhat but can peel, leading to fast rusting of the underlying steel.
Griddles made entirely of aluminum fare decently outside since aluminum doesn’t rust. But aluminum is softer and dents/dings more easily.
Any wooden handles or accessory parts deteriorate rapidly with outdoor storage from moisture exposure.
Stainless steel griddles are the most outdoor-worthy construction. Porous metals like cast iron should be avoided for perpetual outdoor settings. Chrome or aluminum provide mid-level protection that requires diligence.
Preventing & Managing Rust When Leaving a Griddle Outside
For carbon steel griddles, rust is inevitable if leaving them outside indefinitely. But you can slow the rusting through proper preventative care:
Seasoning Your Flat Top
Maintaining the griddle seasoning creates a protective barrier against moisture and oxidation. Reapply seasoning regularly, especially after cleaning or wet weather exposure.
Covers Help Your Griddle!
Use a tightly fitted waterproof cover when the griddle is not in use rather than leaving it fully open. This protects from rain and sprinklers.
Applying a thin coat of oil before covering helps repel water and humidity. Just keep it thin to avoid a sticky/gummy texture.
Use a mild abrasive pad and rust remover paste to scrub off any light surface rust once it develops. Re-season immediately after.
Store Your Griddle Inside (The Garage)
When not using the griddle for an extended time, store it indoors to limit rust formation.
With diligent care, carbon steel and chrome griddles can minimize rusting for outdoor storage. But they will require more hands-on attention compared to stainless models.
Dealing with Insects, Spiders, & Other Pests on Your Griddle
Leaving griddles outside means dealing with local wildlife wanting to make your equipment their new home. Take these steps to deter pests:
- Drain Grease – Don’t leave old grease in the catch tray, as this is a magnet for pests. Drain and wipe it clean after each use.
- Avoid Food Residue – Use a grill brush and scraper to remove all food debris that can attract insects and vermin after cooking.
- Protective Covering – Keep the griddle tightly covered when not in use to create a physical barrier against nesting wildlife.
- Repellents – Apply natural insect repellents along the perimeter of the covered griddle to deter nesting activity. Refresh repellents after rainfall.
- Traps – Use live-catch rodent and insect traps around the storage area to protect the covered griddle. Release or dispose of captured pests safely.
- Elevate Storage – Storing the griddle up on bricks, blocks, or a shelf reduces access for burrowing pests.
With good sanitation and barriers, you can minimize unwanted wildlife from moving in. But occasional deep cleanings may be needed after months of outdoor griddle storage.
Cleaning & Maintenance Considerations
Outdoor stored griddles require more frequent attention to keep them in good cooking condition:
- Wash Surface – After each griddling session, scrub the cooking surface to remove stuck-on debris. This prevents rancid buildup that attracts pests.
- Cover When Cool – Don’t cover the hot griddle after cooking or moisture will build up underneath. Allow it to fully cool before protecting with a cover.
- Season Properly – Avoid using excess oil when seasoning, just thin wiping with oil. Thick seasoning turns sticky outside.
- Replace Wood Parts – Any wood handles or attachments will deteriorate and mold outside. Swap them for weather-resistant parts.
- Check Burners – For gas griddles, inspect tubing and burners regularly for any damage or obstructions from dirt/debris.
- Deep Clean Regularly – Do a thorough deep cleaning session every month removing all residue buildup. This reduces rancidity and grease that hastens deterioration.
- Lubricate Parts – Keep hinges, locks, and other moving parts lightly lubricated to prevent seizing up from moisture exposure. Wipe off excess lubricant.
- Inspect for Damage – Before each use, check for any cracks, major scratches, peeling surfaces, or component damage that needs repair.
While more hands-on, keeping a detailed maintenance routine makes outdoor griddle storage feasible in many climates.
- Keep your investment protected from dirt, water, and more all year long with one lightweight cover.
- DURABLE FEATURES: Polyester lining provides stability and structural strength, elastic hem for a secure fit, and mesh vents for air flow
- TOUGH MATERIAL: Made with thick 12-gauge commercial vinyl
- SATISFACTION WARRANTY: 2–year manufacturer warranty
Ideal Outdoor Griddle Storage Spots
Where you store the griddle in your outdoor space impacts durability:
- Covered Area – Under a patio roof, gazebo, carport, or other covered spot is best to allow air circulation while limiting direct rain and sun.
- Concrete or Stone Surface – Set the griddle on an impervious concrete pad, patio, or stone surface rather than direct ground contact.
- Limited Sun Exposure – Avoid full sun whenever possible, as the UV rays help break down materials over time. Opt for shade or partial sun.
- Elevated – Storing the griddle up on bricks, blocks, a table, or shelf gets it off the damp ground and improves airflow.
- No Sprinklers – Make sure no timed sprinkler systems will regularly soak the covered griddle where it’s stored.
- Away From Plants – Don’t store next to gardens, shrubs or trees where dirt, debris, sap, and moisture can blow onto the griddle.
- Protected From Wind – Use a sheltered area of your yard that avoids direct high wind exposure which can damage the cover.
Think through all the environmental factors before selecting an outdoor griddle storage home. The right spot helps your griddle hold up for many seasons.
Choosing an Outdoor Griddle Cover
The right cover is essential to protect your griddle from the elements when stored outside. Look for:
- Waterproof Material – Coated nylon, vinyl, specialized canvas, and other waterproof fabrics make the best outer cover shell. Avoid porous textiles that absorb moisture.
- Tight Fit – It should fit snugly over your entire griddle without gaps where rain can penetrate. Allow for the legs/frame in sizing.
- Fasteners – Zippers, click straps, drawstrings or button snaps allow you to securely close the cover tightly around the griddle.
- Ventilation – While waterproof, it still needs vents to allow air circulation and prevent moisture buildup underneath.
- UV Resistant – Fabrics that resist sun damage hold up longer outside. Polyester resists UV better than plastic sheeting.
- Durable & Breathable – Avoid flimsy materials prone to shredding. Nylon stands up well to wind and environmental factors.
- Antimicrobial – Treated materials prevent mold and mildew growth which can transfer to your griddle.
Look at weatherproof barbecue grill covers as an option tailored for outdoor use. Get the most rugged and durable cover you can afford for the climate.
Other Outdoor Griddle Storage Tips
A few other pointers for storing your griddle outside:
Bring Indoors In Winter
Even with a cover, consider indoor winter storage in regions with freezing weather to avoid any ice damage.
Check Local Codes
Some homeowner associations prohibit long-term outdoor equipment storage visible to neighbors. Know the rules.
Lock It Up
Now I’m not judging, but, since it’s outside, secure the griddle with a lock to prevent theft when not being used.
Keep Clean After Use
Don’t allow food, grease or grime to sit more than a day or it gets more challenging to remove later.
Check for light along the edges of the cover. If you see any, it means rain can get through and you need to adjust or replace the cover.
Allow To Dry
After uncovering for use, let the griddle air dry fully before re-covering to avoid trapping moisture against the metal.
Proper care makes it possible to store many griddle models outside. But stainless steel still holds up best for worry-free long-term outdoor storage.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I leave my Blackstone griddle outside?
Blackstone griddles are constructed from cold rolled steel making them moderately suitable for outdoor storage with proper care. Use protective covers, oil coatings, regular deep cleaning, and watch for any rust formation. Avoid leaving outside through winter in cold climates.
Should you cover a griddle that is outside?
Absolutely. Leaving a griddle fully exposed to the elements will lead to rapid deterioration and rusting. Always keep it covered with a snug fitting waterproof, breathable cover when not in use. This protects from rain, wind, dirt, and other environmental damage.
Can I leave my griddle outside in the rain?
Leaving an uncovered griddle out purposefully in the rain is never recommended. The water causes immediate surface rusting and damage on all metal models except stainless steel. Always keep your outdoor griddle protected under a patio cover or snug waterproof fitted cover if storing outside.
What happens if my griddle gets rained on?
If caught in a rain shower, immediately dry the griddle thoroughly once the rain stops. Use paper towels to absorb moisture from the metal surface. Rewipe with fresh oil and season the griddle again to protect against rusting. Avoid using it until it’s fully dried out. Leaving it wet causes oxidation and rust.
Can you get rust off a griddle?
Light surface rust can be removed using abrasive pads, steel wool, or a rust removal paste specifically for griddles. Scrub gently to avoid stripping off griddle seasoning. Once rust is removed, immediately re-season the griddle to protect the bare metal beneath. Severe rust may mean replacing the griddle.
Is it OK to leave a griddle outside while camping?
Ideally bring the griddle into your tent at night after camping use. If that’s not possible, cover it securely with waterproof, breathable fabric and store up on blocks to limit damp ground contact. Avoid leaving it outdoors long-term in humid climates. Thoroughly re-season it after camping trips.
Can you leave a Blackstone griddle uncovered?
Never leave your Blackstone fully uncovered when storing it outside. Rain, windblown dirt and debris will quickly damage the cold rolled steel surface. Always keep it covered with a weatherproof, vented cover tailored to the specific dimensions of your unit. Remove the cover just while actively cooking.
Should I cover my griddle after using it?
After outdoor use, let the hot griddle fully cool before covering it. Otherwise, the trapped moisture under the cover accelerates corrosion and rusting. Once cooled, cover it to protect from dirt and any unexpected rain showers. Indoors you can cover it while warm to retain heat if desired.
Is it OK for my griddle to get wet?
While most griddles can get lightly splashed without damage during cooking, it’s best to keep them as dry as possible. Never submerge in water. Allow to fully dry after cleaning and before storage or covering to limit rust formation. Avoid cooking in pouring rain.
Can you put a griddle away wet?
Never put any style griddle away wet or damp into storage. Always fully dry the cooking surface and underside before covering or putting back into an enclosed area. Leftover moisture touching the bare metal promotes oxidation, corrosion and mold growth that damages the griddle.
By choosing the right griddle model, protection methods, and maintenance, outdoor storage can work well long-term in many climates. Just take precautions tailored to your specific environment. With the proper care, you can confidently leave your favorite griddle outside ready for cooking anytime.